Obviously this is more a post for the ladies than the men but I think men, especially husbands will be able to benefit from this and support and encourage their wives as well.
This will be a hard post to write about. Why? Well for one thing I hate writting about touchy subjects or something so personal as breastfeeding. But with all the grief I have been getting about voicing my opinions on the subject I finally decided to use my freedom of speech right and blog what I have been wanting to say aloud forever. For those of you who know me personally, know that what I usually want to say in my head never comes out right in words. For another reason, I know I am not the only one out there that has felt like a looser because people have mentioned the lengths they went to breastfeed. So what should we do? Pat them on the back, say, Well done. Then move on. They DID do good, but what they did is not necessarily meant for anyone and everyone.
When Euphemia was born I had a horrible time trying to nurse. At first we thought I wasn’t holding her right… but after reviewing many pictures of the first day of life I can see that I was holding her right (maybe not getting her mouth wide enough opened) but that was not the issue.
I have always had breast problems to one degree or another. I can NEVER take cold showers. I need it as hot as I can stand. Usually when I am done the whole air is this thick fog, even in the summer. My hubby, likes hot water too but even he says, “Challice! Ouch!” Swimming has always been one of my favorite “sports”, if you will. But I have a hard time getting in and out. It just hurts!
So when Emma was born I knew that there would probably be some issues. But I was not prepared for the lengths I would go in order to breastfeed. Tears, Sweat (in Oct.) hand expressing, pumping, more tears, and just sheer pain. I have never enjoyed the thought of nursing. And I didn’t really enjoy nursing. But I knew that it was healthy and good for my baby and lets face it, I have to do a lot of things I just don’t like, one more thing won’t kill me.
Finally one side healed up fine. But the other side I spent 5 months pumping. I pumped every 3-4 hours just to be sure the milk supply would stay… although I needn’t have worried, I was pumping about 4-5oz everytime I pumped and Emma was only needing 2-3oz each feeding and that was on the other size. I went back and forth from nursing to bottle feeding (from the pumped milk). I did the nipple shield, I did every nipple cream anyone could recommend, including yogurt (in case it was a yeast infection). I did cloth pads, I did disposable pads. Finally after 5 months it healed enough to nurse her off of. I could do both sides now… but then I found out i was pregnant. I was able to keep the nursing up for about another month then the milk supply was pretty much gone and I had become so tender that I said, “Your done”.
I will not do the lengths I did with Emma with #2 muffin. With 2 children there is no way I will. I will give nursing about 2 months and if everything is running smoothly, WONDERFUL! if not, bottles are just fine. Emma managed to survive just fine and dandy with them. She is one healthy baby.
I am already getting some grief about my decision. I decided to mention it to a few people now because I knew that when I am nursing I could be bullied (for lack of a better word) about my decision and then being so emotionally and physically exhausted who knows what I would do. Let em warm up to the idea. But why am I getting grief? The main point is to get the child fed. We will being doing raw goats milk (next best thing to breastmilk) and I have a younger sister that had to be fed like that and she is the rosiest, brightest little thing you have ever known. Goats milk won’t kill em.
We all show love for our children one way or another. Some by going to extreme and amazing lengths to breastfeed. WAY TA GO ladies. I on the other-hand will not. I would not feel comfortable telling my child,
“Honey, I loved you so much that I would cry just knowing you wanted to nurse. I looked forward to the times I could just hold you. I hated nursing you but I knew it would be so healthy for you. I went through sweat and tears to nurse you. Can’t you feel my love?”
I would so much rather say,
“Honey, you know how much I love you. I knew you needed food so we fed froma bottle. I looked forward to the times I could just cuddle with you as you sucked from the bottle. Sure I had to get up 5 minutes before feeding time during the night so you could have some warm milk but I was then all the more awake to just see you dreamily suck away. It was such a special and wonderful time”.
We all have reasons for what we do. Perhaps I am being selfish in my reasons for bottle over breastfeeding. I know that children really don’t scar that easily… but why should she think that Mommy cries so much over this new baby? Children may not scar easily but they are bright cookies.
So, if you get grief over your decision to bottle feed over breastfeed just remember, the baby needs food. Get it in them. Sure you can research the best way to get it in them (we won’t be doing formula, whole nother topic right there), whether its formula, goats milk, donated breast-milk, whatever. Get the child fed. There are many support groups for the mother’s that go to all lengths to breastfeed. But we also need support. From our husbands, from our family and friends, knowing that we did what we could. We don’t need grief on how we failed. God created each one of us uniquely, where did He the Creator make a mistake? Thank God for your child, thank God for the woman that can breastfeed, feel happy for them, but don’t beat yourself against a brick wall for not being the “greatest mom”. Breastfeeding does not make you upper-class mom.